Shortlisted for the inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize
The judges have selected a marvellous shortlist for the first Klaus Flugge Prize, a new award created to highlight newly published illustrators.
From a longlist of twenty picture books by debut illustrators an expert panel of judges comprising Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell; Tony Ross, the UK’s biggest selling children’s illustrator; Professor Martin Salisbury of the Cambridge School of Art; and Ferelith Hordon, editor of Books for Keeps and IBBYLink, selected a shortlist of six.
The six books are:
Too Many Toys by Heidi Deedman (Walker Books)
With every birthday and Christmas Lulu is given more toys,until there’s barely room for her!
Intricate comic detail, an energetic style, and hand-lettering that brings classic children’s books to mind make this stand out. The judges feel Deedman has the potential to be an outstanding illustrator, and admired the personality she gives to her book.
Hector and the Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith (Alison Green Books)
Hector the bear likes a bit of peace and quiet, but his best friend Hummingbird just can’t stop talking. What’s to do?
With its retro palette of turquoise, green and pink, playful scenes and appealing characters the judges found this to be something special, admiring in particular the way the illustrator inhabits his characters.
The Girl with the Parrot on her Head by Daisy Hirst (Walker Books)
Isabel misses Simon when he moves away, and decides the parrot on her head is all the friends she needs, until the removals van brings someone new to play with.
Original, and with a lively, bouncy feel, Hirst’s silk-screen prints and use of space caught the judges’ attention. A night-time scene with a wolf particularly impressed.
Toby and the Ice Giants by Joe Lillington (Flying Eye Books)
Toby the Bison explores the Ice Age Tundra in this fact-filled adventure and meets some of the giants that roamed the planet.
Lillington brings the creatures of the ice age to life in dramatic watercolour illustrations. The judges admired his draughtsmanship and found this to be an interesting picture book.
Lili by Wen Dee Tan (Fat Fox)
Lili is an ordinary little girl, except for her fiery hair, which makes it hard to make friends. A story of unexpected courage.
Wen Dee’s pencil and crayon style lends itself beautifully to animation and movement as demonstrated by Lili with her fiery red hair. The judges found lots to like in her sensitive, lyrical drawings.
Counting Lions by Stephen Walton, written by Katie Cotton (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
From one regal lion to ten zebras, these superb full-page black and white drawings give readers the chance to get close to nature’s wildest creatures.
A self-taught artist, Stephen Walton commands attention with arresting charcoal portraits of wild animals and this book stands out as different. Tony Ross expressed real admiration, remarking that: ‘I couldn’t draw like that, and I’d really like to.’
The Shortlisted Illustrators
Heidi Deedman originally studied sculpture in London, experimenting with a diverse range of materials such as found objects, ceramics and textiles. Drawing always stayed central to her work though, and she went on to complete Cambridge School of Art’s MA in Illustration and win the Sebastian Walker prize.
Nicholas John Frith is an exciting creative talent living on the south coast of England. He is inspired by vintage books and packaging from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Having travelled the world from Kuala Lumpur to Chile, Nicholas now uses his experiences to create picture books which bring those places to life for every reader.
Daisy Hirst studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University where she composed her own poetry. Afterwards, Daisy went on to graduate from the Cambridge School of Art MA Course in Illustration. She won the Lara Jones award in the Macmillan Prize and released her second book Alphonse, That Is Not OK to Do! in 2016.
Joe Lillington was born in London and studied illustration at Falmouth University graduating in 2014. He was recently commisssioned to illustrate the cover of Stew Magazine, illustrated a short story in AMBIT magazine and has exhibited at Light Grey Art Lab as well as with the Just Us collective.
Wen Dee Tan spent ten years in the corporate IT world before quitting to return to her first love: drawing. She graduated from the Cambridge School of Art MA Course in Illustration where Lili was one of her course projects. It was longlisted for the prestigious CILIP Kate Greenaway Award. Wen Dee lives in Malaysia.
Stephen Walton is a self-taught, award-winning artist who works as Supervisor at Bury Art Museum in Manchester, UK. After studying Geography at Manchester University, his artwork developed alongside his love of taking photographs, which resulted in his very particular style and method: when he is out and about he takes photographs which he then draws from at home. His incredible charcoal artworks can take up to a month to complete. Stephen lives in Manchester, England.
Chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare said: “We asked the judges to consider technique and artistic ability, and they chose also to take into account the illustrators’ skill at characterisation. The discussion was lively and wide ranging and the final shortlist features exciting and extremely talented illustrators. The Klaus Flugge Prize is very important, the only one to recognise new illustrator talent at this crucial early stage in a career and we look forward to watching all six of the shortlisted illustrators develop.”
The winner will be revealed at an award ceremony in London on Wednesday 14th September 2016 and will receive a cheque for £5,000.
The Klaus Flugge Prize honours publisher Klaus Flugge, a supremely influential figure in picture books, who this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of his publishing house Andersen Press.
The Klaus Flugge Prize is funded by Klaus Flugge and run independently of Andersen Press. It is administered by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of The Guardian, children’s director of the Hay Festival and head of Public Lending Right policy and advocacy; and by Anne Marley co-director of Authors Aloud UK and former head of Children’s, Youth & Schools Services for Hampshire Library & Information Service for many years.
Klaus Flugge was born in Hamburg in 1934, apprenticed to a bookshop and sent to Book Trade School in Leipzig. He emigrated to America at the age of 23 as an East German refugee who spoke only German and Russian. After a variety of jobs, and two years as an American GI, he was offered a job working as a Personal Assistant to Lew Schwartz, owner of Abelard-Schuman publishing in New York. After only a year and a half Schwartz suggested he go to Europe to build up the very small list they had there and came to London in 1961. He launched Andersen Press – named after Hans Christian Andersen – in the autumn of 1976.
The roll call of artists Klaus Flugge has worked with at Andersen Press reads like a textbook on illustration: David McKee, Tony Ross, Satoshi Kitamura, Michael Foreman, Susan Varley, Emma Chichester Clark, Sir Quentin Blake, Chris Riddell, Ruth Brown and David Lucas to name but a very few.
In 1999, he became the first publisher to receive the Eleanor Farjeon Award for outstanding contribution to children’s books and in 2010 he became the first and so far only publisher to be awarded Honorary Membership of the Youth Libraries Group. In 2013 Klaus was made an honorary citizen of the City of Bologna in recognition of his commitment to children’s books abroad.